More and more companies are transitioning to cloud computing. One of the people helping them make this digital transformation is Hendrik Kremer. In an interview, the cloud consultant lets us know which approach his unit follows and what makes his job at LHIND so exciting.
“Digital transformation is always a corporate transformation.”
Hendrik, “cloud consultant” sounds as if your main focus is on supporting individual companies as they transition to cloud computing. Do you focus more on advising clients or on technical development?
First and foremost, we develop solution templates for cloud scenarios that can then be used for client-specific projects. Right now, for example, I’m working on a positioning template that can serve as a template for all indoor and outdoor positioning and will allow us to provide a solution for companies looking to locate objects at events, in logistics or in other sectors.
So the approach is always to develop an integrated solution that can be adapted to different needs?
Yes: adapted to different requirements depending on the company, even across entire sectors. Our company name – Lufthansa Industry Solutions – does suggest, after all, that we come up with solutions for industries. Accordingly, the underlying idea is that we generally develop solutions in such a way that they can be used in various different sectors. LHIND’s versatility is a tremendous advantage in that. We’re an extensive network of different units that each serve different clients. That makes it possible for us to take a truly cross-industry approach.
Did that versatility convince you to join LHIND?
The opportunity to gain experience in different industries is definitely a plus. My unit in particular, Technology Consulting, Research & Standards, is an interdisciplinary technology business unit (BU). We’re not specialized in a specific sector. Instead, we support the other business units at LHIND. Accordingly, we work with various different industries and clients, as well as with many new projects and methods. You learn a lot in the process.
The general benefits also help make LHIND and the Lufthansa Group a winning combination, of course – not just the discounts on flights, but also being part of a global corporation. No matter where in the world you are, people recognize the name “Lufthansa.”
Are internationality and the wide range of different BUs also an advantage when it comes to gaining knowledge and experience?
Yes, because we have experts in a wide variety of fields. We can consult the right experts whenever we have a question on something related to a different industry – like if we want to solve a logistics problem for a company in the tourism sector, for instance. That’s a tremendous advantage compared to other companies that are not as broadly diversified as LHIND.
“The world of cloud computing is fast-paced and ever-changing. As a result, you have to constantly acquire new knowledge – and enjoy keeping yourself up to date.”Hendrik Kremer, Cloud Consultant
Besides consulting with experts, how else do you stay up to date on technical advancements and innovation?
I gain hands-on experience with technologies through projects by working with them and getting to know their strengths and weaknesses. However, we don’t immediately use every technology in client projects, of course, since they have to reach a certain level of maturity first. I stay abreast of the latest developments online in newsletters and tech blogs. Personally, though, I also think it’s important to study best practices or certain patterns of application rather than just learn about the latest developments. In that case, I find books to be the best source. I know that sounds terribly old-fashioned in the IT world, but I think learning from the experiences of others is the best way to make fewer mistakes yourself.
According to the Cloud Monitor 2021 study, 82 percent of German companies use cloud applications, regardless of their size and sector. From a cloud consultant’s perspective, are there industries in which the digital transformation is particularly exciting?
Particularly in “long-established” industries such as logistics and in production, the transformation is very demanding because of the need to restructure big, complex systems. Companies that have existed for a long time often have fixed structures that have to be broken up, in a manner of speaking, to make transformation possible in the first place. The challenge grows larger the larger a company is, since it means having to adapt more structures.
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Does cloud consulting also include persuading people at companies to join the journey?
Transformation is never purely technological. We may speak of digital transformation, but it’s actually a corporate transformation. Regardless of whether IT systems are restructured or whether structures and processes are adapted digitally, the people at the companies are always involved as well – and they have to be included in the transformation. It’s a huge change when employees who have been with a company for 40 years and know the specifics of their jobs inside and out suddenly have to start working with an entirely new system. Digital transformation needs to take these very people along for the journey. Our job goes beyond development and implementation to include enabling members of staff to work with the new system.
Naturally, that’s not only a job for the cloud consultant. In every project team, there are also colleagues whose job it is to look at corporate processes and help oversee the transformation at the business in such a way that the employees are also on board.
Does that mean that cloud consultants need to be team players?
No one can manage a project alone. You need different experts for different topics to lead a project to success. No one is capable of doing it all. That’s why it’s so important to have a good team.
What other skills and abilities do you need to work in cloud consulting?
You need to be flexible, especially with regard to technology. Rather than just using one technology, we need to know various different technologies, have a mastery of them and be willing to work with them. I think you also need to be eager to learn. The world of cloud computing is fast-paced and ever-changing. New technologies mean constantly acquiring new knowledge – and enjoying keeping yourself up to date.
About Hendrik Kremer
Hendrik Kremer studied business informatics at Jade University of Applied Sciences in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, where he also earned his master’s degree in engineering management. Since 2019, he has worked as a Cloud Consultant in Lufthansa Industry Solutions’ Technology Consulting, Research & Standards business unit.